Untitled #3 (From the series Invisible Face)
10 x 8 in.
The face is a theoretical object in itself. It is at the center of photographic history and most directly connects us to ideas of identity and visibility. My own face signals a visual disconnect from my family because I am adopted and therefore throws this theoretical object into an even more complex web of truth, visibility, and identity.
The faces in this project function as composite portraits or digital hybrids made from layering my own present day face with a historical face taken from my old family photographs. I have forced the viewer to confront the face and nothing else. Everything including background, clothing, and even an identifiable light source, has been stripped away so the viewer confronts an almost disembodied head as it hovers in a deep black nothing- a simulated territory. These portraits contain an intentionally strange schizophrenic tension that comes from their dual existence as: real yet imagined, beautiful yet grotesque, moving yet still, and living yet dead. Within each of these faces is some sort of unidentifiable trauma. They are the composite portrait of someone that does not exist, the inexplicable ghost image, the uncanny, an unreality.
© Tarrah Krajnak